Touching Base: A Message from the Chief (02/09/14)

/assets/0/73/6442452101/6442452104/2d48c434-3d9e-4f00-b898-148a76ec79aa.jpgTouching Base: A Message from the Chief
February 9, 2014


Dear Community Members & Department Personnel: 

For your Information:  

The Pasadena Police Department is planning to open the police officer application process on or about February 13, 2104.  Prior to the opening, interested people should use the following link (http://agency.governmentjobs.com/pasadena/default.cfm?action=openjobrequest) to access the City of Pasadena Human Resources Department “Job Interest Cards” webpage and check the law enforcement and public safety boxes.  Interested people will receive an email from the city announcing the next steps.

 Pasadena Police Department’s Mobile Command Post, Curbside Coffee & Chat, is on the move in 2014.  The police department has received several requests for the mobile command post from neighborhood watch groups and other local stakeholders. The mobile command post is being utilized as a highly visible platform to engage our community members. If you would like the Mobile Command Post Curbside Coffee & Chat to visit your neighborhood, please call Officer Ralph Ordonez at (626) 744-7651, or email rordonez@cityofpasadnea.net.

The Pasadena Police Department offers home & vehicle burglary crime prevention tips.  Burglary victims often feel vulnerable and violated when their personal space has been invaded. Records show that home burglaries often occur during the day while residents are away from their dwelling. While residential burglaries seem random, predators usually choose their targets.  Unoccupied homes with easy or concealed access and quick escape routes are targeted. If you See Something, Say Something. Reporting suspicious activity when you first learn of it gives police officers a greater chance of disrupting criminal activity.  Together we can impact crime and make it a safer place for all who live in, work, or visit Pasadena.  For more information, please visit the police department’s webpage at http://www.ci.pasadena.ca.us/Police.

On February 15, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., our community will celebrate the 32nd Annual Black History Parade and Festival.  The parade is one of the biggest and longest-running Black History parades in California.  The festive celebration is free and fun for the entire family.  This year’s theme is “Black History:  A Legacy of the Present and Our Future.” The 2014 parade and festival are sponsored by Wells Fargo Bank and Miller Coors. Media sponsors include: Pasadena Journal; Beacon Media Inc., publisher of the Pasadena Independent and Pasadena Media.

On March 1, the West Pasadena Little League will host Opening Day at Robinson Park, 1081 North Fair Oaks Avenue. The celebration starts at 8:00 a.m. with a Pancake Breakfast (pancakes, sausage, juice or coffee, $5.00) and the program at 10:00 a.m. For tickets, please call: (626) 235-0761, or (626) 484-648. I hope to see you there – it is a great cause in support of our local youth.

Our Community: 

On February 1, Pasadena Police Lieutenant Cheryl Moody and Administrator Gena Persons attended the Association of Black Law Enforcement Executives Black History Month Celebration, which was held at the Renaissance, Los Angeles.  The Keynote speaker was Areva D. Martin, Esq., an award-wining attorney, children’s rights advocate, and author.  I understand from Cheryl the event was well attended and Mr. Martin gave an excellent presentation.  Los Angeles Council Member Bernard Parks, Riverside Police Chief Sergio Diaz, LAX Police Chief Patrick Gannon, and USC Department of Public Safety Chief John Thomas also attended. 

On February 1, Deborah Kay and I attended Bill Leishman Celebration of Life, which was held at the University Club of Pasadena. The celebration was packed with family, friends, Rotarians, Tournament of Roses Representatives, a number of Pasadena Police Foundation Board Members, and local leaders.  There were several speakers who all underscored Bill’s talents, dedication, and “love of Pasadena” he demonstrated over the years. Among many accomplishments, Bill was a founding member of the Pasadena Police Foundation. Bill will be missed by all.

On February 1, Deputy Chief Qualls, Lieutenants Tracey Ibarra, Cheryl Moody, Ed Calatayud, Vasken Gourdikian, Phlunte Riddle (PPD ret.), Office Supervisor Beverly Bogar, and I attended the Black History Parade & Festival’s Red, Black & Green Honors Celebration. The event was held at the Hilton Pasadena and was very well attended.  Vice Mayor Jacque Robinson, Councilman Terry Tornek, and Councilman John Kennedy were among the elected officials at the celebration.  2014 Black History Parade Honorees included: The Black Male Forum, Georgia Holloway, Lola Osborne, City of Pasadena Youth Ambassador Program, Ralph Poole (in memoriam), Mack Robinson (in memoriam), and Jordan Tagnes. This year’s community Grand Marshalls are NAACP Pasadena Branch President Gary Moody and Businesswoman Shirlette Butler-Flder (Photos @PPDChiefSanchez).

On February 4, 23 Beijing China High School students visited the Pasadena Police Department as part of an education tour to the United States, hosted by Pasadena High School.  The students were very engaging and had a strong command of the English language.  They were accompanied by PHS Principal Gilbert Barraza and his staff. Pasadena Police Sergeants Bobby Lomeli and John Luna, Officers Louie Luevano, Richard Vindiola, Sal Ramos, Roxanne Haines, and Police Specialist Hilda Jurado provided police building tours for the students.  They visited the Communication Center, the Jail, and other major areas (Photos @PPDChiefSanchez).

On February 5, Pasadena Police Lieutenants John Dewar and Pete Hettema attended a special meeting of the San Rafael Neighborhood Association (SRNA) concerning the closure of the La Loma Bridge for retrofitting.  At the meeting, Lieutenant Hettema represented the police department on a panel along with personnel from the Department of Transportation, Fire, and Public Works to answer residents’ questions following an update from Project Manager Steve Walker.   The bridge is scheduled to be closed for eighteen months during the construction and the residents are concerned about emergency access and traffic impacts in their neighborhoods.  Stan Clark moderated the well-attended meeting for the SRNA.

Pasadena’s Finest:  

On January 31, I received a copy of an email from a community member commending Pasadena Police Officer Ralph Ordonez and his “teammates” (Park Safety Officers Nick Ortiz and Michelle White, Sergeant Max Dahlstein, Officers Steve Thurston and Irvin Myles, PS Hilda Jurado) for hosting the Curbside Coffee & Chat at Singer Park.  The author wrote, “…It was very informative meeting and enjoyed by all who attended from our neighborhood and area. Your continuous support in striving to maintain Pasadena as a safe and beautiful place in which to live is sincerely appreciated….” (Photos @PPDChiefSanchez).

On February 5, Pasadena Police Officer Jorge Salazar was hired by the police department.  He participated in a badge-pinning ceremony, which was held in the City Council Chambers in front of family, friends, and police employees.  City Clerk Mark Jomsky issued the oath of office.  Mayor Bogaard and Assistant City Manager Steve Mermell were present. Officer Salazar biography states: “… Jorge Salazar grew up in Baldwin Park and graduated from Bishop Amat High School.  He earned an Associate of Arts Degree in Administration of Justice from East Los Angeles College and recently completed his course work for his Bachelor’s Degree in Administration of Justice from California State University, Los Angeles. He enjoys playing soccer, football and basketball. Prior to being hired by the Pasadena Police Department, Jorge worked as a Public Safety Officer for the University of Southern California….” (Photos @PPDChiefSanchez).

On January 31, I received information regarding a sexual assault on a minor. Pasadena Police Detective Cuellar received information from the victim’s mother that a Male Subject (Pasadena Resident, 24 years old) had befriended her daughter (Female Hispanic, 14 years old). The suspect and the victim had met online at “OMEGLE” and later agreed to meet.

On February 1, I received an email from a citizen commending Pasadena Police Officers Matt Morgan and Tim Mossman for their assistance.  The author wrote that she was disoriented and confused when she called the police department asking for assistance.  Matt and Tim arrived and called for the Pasadena Fire Department (the author was in need of medical assistance).  The author was subsequently transported to a local hospital where she received help.

Critical Incidents: 

On January 30, at about 1:29:00 p.m., a Pasadena Police Officer responded to the 900 block of South Marengo Avenue regarding a domestic dispute. On arrival, the uniformed officer attempted to contact the residents by knocking on the front door.  Without warning, a male inside the dwelling pointed a handgun (later determined to be loaded) at the officer through a window.  The officer quickly retreated to a safe location and requested assistance.  When the other units arrived, they ordered the suspect (Male White, 43 years old, Pasadena Resident) to surrender. The suspect complied with the orders and was arrested without incident. The suspect was later booked at the Pasadena jail.   

The preliminary investigation revealed that the suspect pointed a loaded semi-automatic pistol at the officer. The firearm was recovered near the front door of the dwelling and investigating officers observed several other firearms in the house. A search warrant was subsequently secured and officers recovered $21,000 in US Currency, 416 grams of marijuana, 29 handguns, 16 rifles (to include 3 on the banned assault rifle list), 5 shotguns, 1 multi-launcher with various tear gas/anti-personnel rounds, numerous assault rifle receivers and high capacity magazines, 1000s of rounds of ammunition, several tracer rounds, and numerous canisters of explosive target compound. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, & Firearms (ATF) was also contacted and assisted with this investigation. The evidence and weapons were booked at the Pasadena Police Property Room.  Not only did the officer demonstrate tremendous restraint , good judgment and tactics when the suspect pointed a loaded firearm at him – the seizure underscores the types of firearms that can find their way into our community. This case highlights the challenges facing Pasadena Police Officers as they go about their daily duties to protect and safeguard Pasadena. I am including a few photos of the weapons PPD officers seized during this investigation.    

On January 30, at around midnight, Pasadena Police officers received information that a Male White subject was maintaining a marijuana farm at his residence, located in the 200 block of Chester Avenue.  Special Enforcement Officers (SES) responded to the area and detected a strong order of marijuana emitting from the dwelling. The officers developed further probable cause and applied for a search warrant.  Based on the totality of the investigation, a superior court judge authorized the warrant. The warrant was served and SES officers recovered approximately 66 marijuana plants in various stages of growth, as well as equipment used to cultivate weed. The suspect was arrested without incident and booked at the Pasadena Police jail. The investigation was supervised by Pasadena Police Sergeant Aguilar. 

On January 31, at about 10:50 p.m., Pasadena Police officers assigned to the Special Enforcement Section (SES) responded to Community Arms regarding a fight.  As the officers were approaching a group (the source of the fight call) they observed a Male Black (active gang member) running way holding his waistband.  Officers ordered the male to stop; however he failed to comply.  SES officers chased after the suspect, who tossed a loaded semi-automatic pistol outfitted with a 30-round magazine. The suspect was detained and arrested without further incident.  The pistol was recovered and the suspect was later booked at the Pasadena Police Department Jail.  

On January 31, Pasadena Police Detective Christian received information that a female suspect was selling methamphetamine from a residence located in the 100 block of Rosemead Boulevard in Pasadena. Detective Christian developed further information during his investigation and secured a search warrant.  Detective Christian and other Special Investigations Unit (SIU) investigators served the warrant and detained three suspects in the location.  The primary suspect was conducting a narcotics transaction at the time of the warrant service.  During execution of the search warrant, Pasadena detectives recovered approximately 2.6 ounces of crystal methamphetamine, 64 grams of heroin, and US Currency. The suspects were transported to the Pasadena jail and booked for narcotics charges.  

On February 1, the Pasadena Police Department’s Traffic Division conducted a DUI/CDL Checkpoint near Arroyo Parkway and Fillmore Street. Almost 1500 vehicles passed through the checkpoint.  Officers arrested 11 drivers for operating a motor vehicle without a driver’s license and three additional drivers were arrested for operating a motor vehicle on a suspended license.   The checkpoint was funded by a traffic safety grant from UC Berkley.  Sergeants Ortiz and Dahlstein supervised the detail.   

On February 3, at about 5:17 p.m., Arcadia Police Department (APD) pursued a vehicle into our jurisdiction.  APD officers were on surveillance in their city when they observed a suspicious person.  APD officers attempted to stop him and he fled in a 2012 Jeep 4x4.  The vehicle pursuit entered Pasadena on California Street at Madre. The suspect lost control of his vehicle and entered the front yard at 3000 East California, ultimately crashing into the side of the residence.  No one was home at the time of the collision and the damage to the dwelling was minimal. Pasadena Police officers assisted APD with a felony stop.  The lone suspect immediately exited the vehicle and attempted to flee; however, when he observed the Pasadena Police helicopter overhead (piloted by TJ Gonzalez, TFO Tommy Corralez) he surrendered and was taken into custody without further incident. Sergeant Sharma supervised the investigation.



Phillip L. Sanchez, Chief of Police
Pasadena Police Department
207 N. Garfield Ave., Pasadena, CA 91101
Office: (626) 744-4545
Mission First, People Always



Posted: 2/9/2014 11:55:00 AM
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